CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia won for the third time in four nights as it defeated North Texas 80-64 in the consolation round of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tuesday.
The Cavaliers (4-2) have hit their stride offensively. Virginia has averaged 75.3 points per game in its last three after failing to reach the 60-point plateau in any of its first three games. The Cavaliers shot 58.7 percent (27-for-46) from the floor against North Texas (3-2).
Freshman Justin Anderson led five Virginia players in double figures with 14 points. Redshirt-freshman point guard Teven Jones and freshman forward Evan Nolte each had 13 points. Guard Joe Harris and forward Darion Atkins each had 12 points, and Atkins had a team-high nine rebounds.
North Texas cut the lead to nine on six times midway through the second half, using full-court pressure to rattle the Cavaliers. The Mean Green forced 11 second-half turnovers after forcing three in the first half.
However, North Texas never closed the gap any further after intermission. Mean Green leading scorer Tony Mitchell, who is a highly-regarded NBA prospect, faced double-teams the majority of the night but put in a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds.
Virginia got off to a hot start offensively, especially from beyond the arc, to build a 42-22 halftime lead over North Texas. The Cavaliers shot 59.3 percent from the floor (16-for-27) and made 6 of 8 3-point attempts.
Six Cavaliers scored at least five points in the opening half, and eight of the nine players who saw the floor had an assist. Nolte had eight points off the bench while Evan Nolte and Jones each had seven points. Virginia played the majority of the half without Harris, the team's leading scorer, who sat the final 15:11 after picking up his second foul.
North Texas shot just 28 percent (7-for-25) from the field and 22.2 percent (2-for-9) from three. Alzee Williams led the Mean Green with six points. Leading scorer
Mitchell had five points and was limited to two field-goal attempts in the first half, although he did make 3 of 4 foul shots.
NOTES: Virginia senior point guard Jontel Evans missed his fifth game of the season with a foot injury, and sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon has missed all six of Virginia's games also with a foot injury. ... This is the first meeting between the schools.